The 21-Day Relationship Reset Challenge Day Two: Reset Your Pattern of Conflict Resolution

dreamstime_xxl_89251993Day Two of “The 21-Day Relationship Reset Challenge” will encourage you to take a deeper look at how you resolve conflict, as well as to consider whether the way you understand, manage, and resolve the conflicts that arise between you and your significant other perpetuate an underlying pattern of dysfunction that threaten the stability of your relationship.

Conflict resolution can be defined in many ways, depending on the spark that ignited the conflict; and, there are just as many strategies that you can use to resolve the conflict.  For the purposes of this challenge, conflict resolution will be defined as a way for two or more parties to work together in pursuit of a peaceful solution to settle any disagreement that arises between them.

Establishing New Norms Around Conflict Resolution

In other words, the key to resolving conflict begins with a desire to work with the person you’re in disagreement with to achieve resolution.  Without that desire, your efforts to work toward solving the problem will be sabotaged by your inability to see beyond your perspective in the situation, which will limit your ability to accept the other person’s point-of-view and to understand why that person feels the way they do about the subject that ignited the disagreement in the first place.

That’s why it’s so important for you to recognize how you resolve conflict in your relationship; especially if you believe that you’re not part of the problem.  If, whenever you find yourself in a disagreement with your significant other you either:

  1. find yourself being dismissive of the concerns being raised;
  2. place the blame for the conflict on your significant other;
  3. become unwilling to accept responsibility for how your actions contributed to the disagreement; or,
  4. you become overly loud, boisterous, disrespectful, etc., as you stonewall your way through the confrontation, you need to reset the way you resolve conflict.

Yes—you can change your conflict resolution default settings.  All you have to do is recognize the pattern of behavior that you default to whenever you find yourself in conflict with your significant other, accept responsibility for how your actions contributed to the conflict, then hold yourself accountable for changing how you react and respond during all phases of the confrontation.

The Challenge   

As you begin to think differently about the way you resolve conflict, your challenge will be to shift the way you think about the purpose for conflict in your relationship.  Conflict arises whenever there’s a breakdown in the communication process, and the disagreement always present an opportunity to learn how to strengthen not only communication between you and your significant other, but also your relationship, overall.

When you find yourself in conflict with your significant other, take a moment to “check-in” with yourself before you do or say something in the heat-of-the-moment that could cause irreparable damage to your relationship.  During your “check-in,” try to identify what led to the conflict and how your actions could’ve contributed to the disagreement.  Then, try to understand your significant other’s perspective on what led to the conflict.

Once you understand the differing perspectives around the conflict, shift the focus from the feelings and emotions attached to the perspectives by suggesting possible solutions, based on the perspectives as expressed.  Then, you’ll be able to get to a place of agreement about the nature of the conflict so that you can work toward resolving the problem.

If you want to see and experience change in this area, you must be willing to do the work of improving how you handle, manage, and understand conflict.  Then, allow everything that you learned about how your resolve conflict to guide you through the process of setting appropriate goals to help you remain consistent in your efforts to honor your commitment to this process.  This consistency will go a long way to help you resolve conflicts before they arise.

Next Steps

The third topic will be introduced on January 3rd, so be sure to subscribe to TheWifeFiles and to follow us on all social media @TheWifeFiles so that you can follow along until the end of the challenge.  We look forward to connecting with you.

Thank you for accepting this challenge!

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The 21-Day Relationship Reset Challenge Day One: Reset Your Pattern of Communication

dreamstime_xxl_89251993Communication is traditionally defined as a two-way process of reaching mutual understanding in which the participants not only exchange information, ideas, and feelings by encoding (sending) and decoding (receiving) messages, but also create and share the meaning of those messages through spoken words and body language (gestures) to further express and confirm understanding.

Based on the concepts expressed in the definition of the communication process as highlighted above, we can conclude that the communication process is most effective and efficient when both participants feel comfortable enough in their relationship to freely express themselves from a place of complete honesty and mutual respect for each other’s point-of-view.

Conversely, we can also conclude that the opposite is be true because the communication process can become ineffective, inefficient, cumbersome, and counterproductive whenever something interferes with the participants’ ability to efficiently and effectively send, receive, process, and interpret messages.

Those “somethings,” also referred to as “breakdowns” in the communication process, are the primary threat to the overall health and stability of our relationships.  Why?  Because they misconstrue the purpose that initiated the communicative exchange in the first place.  We need to work toward changing this, which is why the first day of the “The 21-Day Relationship Reset Challenge” will encourage you to “Reset Your Pattern of Communication.”

The Importance of Self-Assessment

Before you can reset your pattern of communication, you must first identify your communication style (either passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, or assertive).  Understanding your style will help you to better understand why you express yourself the way you do, which will make it easier for you to figure out what you need to do to improve your communication skills, overall.

After you’ve identified your communication style, you should take some time to think about how you come across to others—especially your significant other.  For example, does your assertive communication style make you come across as being bitchy, inconsiderate, bossy, nagging, etc.; even when you’re not trying to be difficult?  Does your significant other see you as being confrontational, even when there’s no conflict brewing between the two of you because you tend to communicate in an aggressive style?

This process of self-assessment will require you to take a long, honest look at how you communicate.  The challenge will be for you to use what you discover about yourself as you work through this process to hold yourself accountable for your efforts to change.

The Challenge

Using everything that you discovered about your communication style during the self-assessment phase of challenge, initiate a conversation with your significant other in which you seek to gain a clearer understanding of their perception of your communication style.  You challenge will be to listen to your significant other’s thoughts; constructively and without interrupting.

As you listen, identify any consistencies between what you discovered about your communication style and what your significant other is telling you.  Be sure to also make note of any differences identified.  Then, allow the information that you gleaned to guide you through the process of setting appropriate goals to help you remain consistent in your efforts to honor your commitment to this process.  This consistency will go a long way to help you work through problems before they arise.

Next Steps

The Second topic will be introduced on January 2nd, so be sure to subscribe to TheWifeFiles and to follow us on all social media @TheWifeFiles so that you can follow along until the end of the challenge.  We look forward to connecting with you.

Thank you for accepting this challenge!

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The 21-Day Relationship Reset Challenge

dreamstime_xxl_89251993Psychological science tells us that it takes approximately twenty-one days of consistent work and targeted effort to form a new habit.  Whenever we decide to change any aspect of our behavior in terms of how we think about, act in, and respond to real-life situations, it takes the brain approximately twenty-one days to establish new connections to recognize and facilitate that change.

In other words, the process of forming a new habit is dependent on three variables—a conscious decision to change a behavior, consistent work toward that end, and targeted effort over a minimum of twenty-one days.

As we sit perched on the eve of the New Year, tradition tells us to “resolve” to set goals around changing some aspect of our behavior that we believe will lead us to happier, more fulfilling lives in the coming year.  And, what do we do?  We make a list of “New Year’s Resolutions”which most of us will not keep—because we recognize that there are things about ourselves that we want to either change altogether or improve for the better.

So why do most of us abandon our efforts to achieve the resolutions/goals we make; oftentimes even before the month of January is over?  The answer to this question is rooted in our inconsistencies with fully commit ourselves to working through the entire process of forming new habits, which is why we either fail in our attempts meet the goals we set or quit before we reach them altogether.

The same dynamic expressed in the answer to the preceding question can be used to provide insight into why our relationships with our spouses/significant others breakdown when we fail to recognize the connection between our inconsistencies with fully committing ourselves to the process of working through the issues that threaten our relationships and holding ourselves accountable for implementing the actions we need to take to be the change that we want to see in our relationships.

This is the primary reason why TheWifeFiles felt compelled to challenge everyone involved in a relationship that they’d like to see grow stronger in 2018 to accept “The 21-Day Relationship Reset Challenge.”   The idea behind this challenge is relatively simple—you can change the trajectory of your relationship for the better if you’re willing to make a consistent effort to change your mindset and your patterns of behavior in your relationship IF your can accept responsibility for the things you need to change with respect to how you relate to your significant other.

As you work through the “The 21-Day Relationship Reset Challenge,” you’ll be required to make a commitment to establishing twenty-one goals that correspond with twenty-one specific topics over a period of twenty-one days to help build consistency in your efforts to strengthen your relationship in the new year and beyond.  Once you establish your goals, the challenge then becomes for you to have an open and honest conversation with your significant other so that you can begin the process of reconciling your differences before it’s too late.

Repeat this process with each new topic until you work your way through the challenge; then start over and keep repeating the process until you’ve developed new habits with respect to how you interact in your relationship.  One new topic will be introduced everyday over the next twenty-one days, so be sure to subscribe to TheWifeFiles and to follow us on all social media @TheWifeFiles so that you can follow along.

Thank you for accepting this challenge!

WifeCode Principle #4: “Appreciate.”

dreamstime_xxl_95164882It’s been said that people will forget what you said and what you did; but, they will never forget how you made them feel.  Think about that for a moment. Then, take a moment to consider those times in your life when you were moved by what someone said to you, be it good or bad.  Then, take another moment to consider those times in your life when you were moved by what someone did for you.  And then, take another moment to consider those times in your life when you were moved by how someone made you feel.

If we’re honest with ourselves, those moments that immediately rise to the forefront of our thoughts are almost always associated with a feeling.  Now, flip your thought process, and take a moment to consider how you make the people in your life feel.  What do you think they’ll say?  What types of feelings do you think people feel as a result of their association with you?  Wives, this is a very important question for us to consider, particularly when we think about how we make our husbands feel.  Why?  Because out of all the people connected to us, HE should be the one person whose feelings matters most.

Up to this point in The WifeCode, we’ve addressed the importance of establishing healthy patterns of communication, learning how to fight fair, and the importance of serving our husbands.  Now, it’s time for us to have a real, candid conversation about how we handle our husbands’ needs, which are intrinsically tied to how we make them feel.  This thought brings us to the Fourth Principle of The WifeCode, which is all about the importance of showing our husbands how much we care about them by expressing our appreciation to them.

You Can Show Him Better Than You Can Tell Him 

Yes, ladies—there IS something that our husbands need to receive from us to make them feel secure, and they need this MORE than anything else that we can give…even sex.  That thing is APPRECIATION.  Men need to feel appreciated, just as much as they need to feel that they’re needed. That probably sound a bit contradictory because love is often expressed through acts intended to show that appreciation.  As wives, we must be mindful to recognize that there IS a difference between the act of loving and the act of expressing love.  We sometimes stumble with the latter because we assume that the act of loving automatically covers the act of expressing love as appreciation, when in reality, it doesn’t.

So, wives, how do we show our husbands how much we appreciate them?   Here are three quick ways…

  1. In Word—Never underestimate the power of saying “thank you.” Don’t allow yourself to reach a place of comfort in your relationship with your husband where you become complacent and passive in recognizing his efforts to sustain your marriage.  Saying “thank you” not only tells your husband that you appreciate the things that he does to sustain your marriage, it also tells him that you see him and that you care.

 

  1. In Deed—Make more of an effort to DO things that show your husband how much you appreciate him. Whether you cook his favorite meal or leave him alone to watch the big game without interrupting him, as wives, we must figure out new ways to show our husbands how much they mean to us.  We must be willing to allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to go out on a limb and find creative and meaningful ways show our husbands how much we appreciate everything they do for us as we work together to sustain our marriages.

 

  1. In ActionActions will always speak louder than words, which is why it’s so important for us wives to understand that words and actions should work in-tandem with each other in every aspect of maintaining a strong relationship with our husbands. It’s not enough for us to tell our husbands that we love them if our actions toward them aren’t in alignment with what we say.  We must get into the habit of following-up our words with actions that reinforce the words we use to show our husbands how much we appreciate them.  When our words become inconsistent with our actions, we leave the door open for our husbands to welcome and entertain questions about our intentions, which isn’t a good thing.

 

And that’s it!  Stay tuned for the Fifth Principle of The WifeCode, which will focus on the importance of keeping your matrimonial business within your marriage.  In the meantime, keep the conversation going. Join TheWifeFiles e-mail list today to receive each principle directly in your inbox as soon as it’s released!  Thank you in advance for subscribing, as well as for following.

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Have You Heard About “The WifeFiles?”

WifeFilesConfidential LogoTheWifeFiles.com is a new website that was created to provide an outlet through which wives and soon-to-be-wives can connect and share their wisdom, thoughts, and insight about marriage.  We truly hope this site will be every wife’s go-to source for support, inspiration, and encouragement, and we’re working hard to establish this site as the #1 online community for wives.

By creating opportunities to facilitate discussion around the issues and experiences of married life and everything that comes with the process of staying married (yes…there is a process to this thing), TheWifeFiles.com aims to bridge the gap between the act of becoming a wife (i.e. reciting your vows during the wedding ceremony) and the process of staying a wife (i.e. living-out your vows in everyday life as your marriage unfolds in real-time).

TheWifeFiles.com is here for you!  Engage with TheWifeFiles community by subscribing to our blog, engaging through social media, and by subscribing to our podcast, WifeTalk Live! with Tawni,” which will feature candid conversations about topics that all wives can relate to—all while featuring practical tips and information to help wives navigate their way through the complexities of marriage to emerge on the other side of their “happily ever-after” WITH their husband.

We look forward to growing with you!